Ned is a young man who is twenty-three years old. He doesn't like his job. His last roommate seemed bothersome to Ned so he kicked him out. Now his rent is too expensive and he needs to find another roommate. He has no girl-friend. In general, Ned is not happy with where his life is at.“Yes!” Ned said as he pumped his fist and made a face as if he had just confidently and capably defeated a Sumo wrestler. He turned away from the model plane, leaving it to cure until morning. He walked to the bathroom making noises that, to him, resembled the noise of an airplane engine that was straining into a steep climb, needed a gallon of oil and was misfiring one piston. Anyone else would have thought he was just making noise. As he brushed his teeth, the plane engine continued, except now it flew through a rainstorm.Ned walked to his bedroom, took off his clothes except his underwear, set his alarm, turned off the lights and slipped under his covers.“Ugh!” Ned thought as his job began to make its way into his consciousness.“I don’t want to go to work tomorrow,” he said to his ceiling. He thrashed about in his sheets. He plumped his pillows. He turned from side to side.“God, I hate my job!” Ned yelled at his nightstand. In the dark, he could see the clock read 12:10 am. A dull ache permeated his bones. He thought about when he was eleven years old and how his bones and knees would hurt when he was in a growth spurt. One summer he grew an inch and a half. While lying in bed, he calculated he had grown one eighth of an inch per week that summer. Ned tossed and turned until 12:30 am before he finally fell asleep.“…And you put your arms around me,
and then you linger on,
and tell me that your body is not your own...”Ned rolled over to swat the radio’s sleep button and fell on the floor.Startled, he quickly got to his knees and looked at his bed. He rubbed his eyes. His bed had shrunk overnight. He looked around the room and everything seemed to be normal, but smaller. Ned thought he was imagining things, but then he realized that his underwear must have shrunk overnight as well. He stood up and walked to his dresser. He tried on a few more pairs of underwear, but they all were too small. Ned found a pair of athletic shorts with a draw string and tried them on. They would have to do.Ned ducked under the doorway and walked to the kitchen. He pulled out some Toxic-Puff cereal and ate the entire box. He was still hungry. He downed the carton of milk – still hungry. He ate three slices of leftover pizza, five pieces of toast, and something leftover from days gone-by which he didn’t recognize. He was still hungry, but Ned decided to stop eating before all his food was gone. Heading back to his room he ducked even further than before under the doorway. That’s when he heard it. His shorts split right down the crotch and Ned was flapping in the wind. At the thought of having no clothes that could possibly cover his body, Ned said “Shit.”
People have asked me if, when I am writing about these characters, they are based on someone I know. Although there are snippets of people I know here or there in the characters, they are mostly different aspects of myself. Ned is my disgruntled side. Ned is not quite happy with anything. He is trying to find a place in this world that truly represents and fulfills all of his inner desires and needs. It is a tough road ahead for Ned. He really doesn't want to grow up. he would like to remain a kid who plays with model airplanes and doesn't have a care in the world.
This is an introductory story to Ned who, for a short time, becomes a giant. Perhaps he learns something about growing up - and up.